Button keen to avoid retiring too soon

(L to R): Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren and team mate Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren with the new McLaren MP4-27.

Jenson Button with Lewis Hamilton

Feb.3 (GMM) While his teammate’s plans beyond this year are unclear, McLaren driver Jenson Button is sure his career is on the right track.

Lewis Hamilton has been making headlines this week after saying he wants to think about his future beyond 2012 – when his existing contract expires – soon.

“Probably, after the first couple of races, it’s something we will probably want to get out of the way, probably in the earlier part of the year rather than later,” said the Briton.

2011 championship runner-up Button, however, inked a new multi-year contract last season, now telling the Sun newspaper that at the age of 32, it is too soon to think about retiring.

Agreeing that 2007 world champion Kimi Raikkonen’s return to F1 this year is good for F1, Button said: “It also tells me not to leave F1 too early.”

Also among the six world champions on the 2012 grid is Michael Schumacher, who returned two years ago at the age of 41.

“Two of the six champions have left and come back again. You always think the grass is greener but you’ve got to be careful about when you retire,” said Button.

The quality of the 2012 grid is also making predictions about the outcome of the world championship particularly difficult.

“It will be close,” agreed McLaren team boss Martin Whitmarsh. “It’s a massively competitive championship these days.

“No one, in my view, is going to run away with this victory, not us, not anyone else.”